Summer Cleaning

I can’t believe that summer is basically half over. I don’t know where the time has gone, but I feel so far behind on summer chores. My plants/flowerbeds look awful because I haven’t been able to keep up with the weeding and feeding. (Not to mention that I am lacking potted and hanging basket plants that I just never bought.) I haven’t cleaned my windows, pressure washed the house and deck, or had my annual yard sale (or even begun to gather items to put in said sale). I have a long list of projects that need to be completed this summer that (obviously) haven’t been started. (two new retaining walls need built in my flower beds, my brick block decking needs fixed, as water has damaged it and unleveled it, my porch posts need sanded, patched and painted, a tree needs cut down, a bush needs pulled out…and the list goes on. The only thing I can say is accomplished is that today I finally cleaned all of my porch railings. They’re the vinyl railings that look great and don’t rot, but they show dirt and mildew and scratches easily. Typically I clean them the first sign of warm weather. And honestly, it took a lot to talk myself into cleaning them now because I feel like summer is almost over, so why bother.

I’m so thankful that I did, though. They look wonderful, and make me feel like I might be able to enjoy summer after all. (Seems ridiculous, I know, but I truly feel like this summer has been a waste.) And if I dive into it a bit more, I’m so thankful that Jesus doesn’t just let me stay unclean. (Psalm 51:7, Ezekiel 36:25) As a Christian, I tend to look okay from far away. I look clean and durable, but once you get closer you can see that I’m a mess and scratches. From a distance, I seem to be holding up my faith quite well. I go to church, study my Bible, and talk about Jesus when I see a chance to include Him. However, with a deeper inspection, one can see that I skip church sometimes, don’t open my Bible some days, and more often than not, don’t discuss Jesus.

I, like my porch rails, need cleaned; unfortunately, more frequently than annually. Thankfully, Jesus wipes me down with the linens He was buried in, (Luke 24:12, John 19:40, John 20:5-7) and washes me spotless. And just like my porch rails, I sparkle for a while. I attend church more regularly, read more frequently and share the gospel more steadily. And that’s when the durability of my faith shines. When I’m spending more time with other believers, staying in His Word and sharing His Good News, I am resilient. He’s the same with you. If you take the time and allow Him to work with and on you, you, too will shine like new. (Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:22-24) And He will make the effort more than worth your while. (Hebrews 11:6)